The Iron Man-Ghostbusters connection

Saw Iron Man 2 again recently and, while it was still a good summer movie, I was struck by the climactic similarity between Iron Man 2 and Ghostbusters.

Think about it: in order to vanquish the Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, Iron Man and War Machine must combine the force of their repulsor rays.

Sounds a bit like “crossing the streams,” doesn’t it? In the classic Ghostbusters, the four men must cross the energy streams of their Proton Packs in order to roast the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Hmmmm …

Well, if we extend the Iron-Man-as-Ghostbusters metaphor, that would mean that Tony Stark is Peter Venkman, and he could also Egon and Ray, since, not only is Stark an egotist, he’s also a brilliant scientist.

That would mean that Rhodey is Winston … but that seems vaguely racist. I mean, just because Rhodey is black, he’s GOT to be Winston? No, Rhodey is Ray, which makes Tony both Peter and Egon … but, then again, who would be Winston?

Nick Shield. Oh, wait, dang it. There goes that race card again.

Of course, Pepper Potts is Dana Barrett. And Agent Coulson is Louis. Vanko is more of a Vigo the Carpathian than a Stay Puft, but it’s the same franchise, so that’s OK.

But what about Winston? How about Happy Hogan? Yeah, Hogan is Winston … although Hogan is just the driver, which kind of diminishes Winston’s role, doesn’t it? I mean, Winston was definitely no Hoke Colburn.

Ok, so the metaphor kind of breaks down upon closer inspection. In fact, Iron Man 2 is NOTHING like Ghostbusters. Except for that whole “crossing repulsor rays” thing.

But let’s be honest: there are worse things than comparing the two movies. Ghostbusters, after all, is the most influential movie of the last 30 years. Well, if not “influential” it’s definitely one of the most quotable


4 thoughts on “The Iron Man-Ghostbusters connection

  1. Having still not seen Iron Man 2 yet, I can’t comment on that part of the blog, however by comparing it to Ghostbusters, does this make it the next cultural literacy imperative for viewing? As I get older I realize there is a generation behind me that doesn’t understand “he slimed me”.
    Excellent as always, hopefully I will see the movie soon so the rest will fall into place.

    • I wouldn’t go that far … Ghostbusters is a more quotable movie, which makes for a deeper impact to cultural literacy. And, sorry about ruining the climax of the movie. At least I didn’t tell you about Tony and Pepper kissing. Or Thor’s hammer.

      DVD is out in September.

  2. Interesting observations…I’ll keep that in mind next time I’m watching either of them…
    Both fine films…I’m not going to let any number of similarities keep me from enjoying them. 🙂

    • I agree: both are fine films that I either own or plan to own. Sometimes it’s just fun to try and connect dots when there may or may not be any. I guess it’s kind of a “perception is reality” deal.

      Have you ever saw similarities between totally different movies? Do tell.

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